Book Review: Dear America: Survival in the Storm, The Dust Bowl Diary of Grace Edwards (Dalhart, Texas 1935) by Katelan Janke

survivalThis is a wonderful DA diary taking place during the Great Depression in the Texas Panhandle. At this time, those who lived in the prairies were hit for several years by terrible drought and dust storms (caused by farmers’ improper treatment of topsoil coupled with strong winds and a severe drought) that nearly ruined the land and peoples’ homes and ways of life. Grace, our 12 year old narrator, is a mature and hardworking young girl who, with her scatterbrained and imaginative 7 year old sister Ruth, make for memorable characters.

I had never heard of the “Dust Bowl” before reading this book, and I certainly learned a lot. In the end, I was positively floored that this book was written by a fifteen year old. Katelan Janke had won a “write your own Dear America novel” contest. Once again, I was floored, as this is one of the better-written books in the series. A great read.